Hyperion Cantos #1
The Hegemony of Man, the TechnoCore[AI’s] and the Ousters[humans who fled into space to escape the Hegemony] all collide on the world of Hyperion. A world where Time Tombs are in an entropic field which seems to be moving backwards. 7 travelers come together to seek the Shrike, mystical/mythical Lord of Pain, thinking that one of them will be granted their wish and the other 6 taken in sacrifice.
This book concentrates on their backstories and what brought them to Hyperion. Excellent writing. The only things I had against it was the profanity used, frequently, by one character and a couple of instances of semi-graphic sexuality.